Disease Management and Outcomes in Patients Hospitalized for Acute Heart Failure in Japan

Cardiology and Therapy, 2021


This study described patients hospitalized for acute heart failure (AHF) in Japan who received intravenous (IV) diuretics and/or vasodilators as the initial therapy.


The Japan Medical Data Vision database was used to identify adult patients hospitalized for AHF during 2013-2017, who were hemodynamically stable at presentation and treated with IV diuretics and/or IV vasodilators as initial therapy. Treatment patterns and use of cardiac rehabilitation, as well as outcomes (e.g., length of stay [LOS], in-hospital mortality, HF-readmission) were reported overall and by year of AHF hospitalization.


Of 30,360 patients (mean age = 80.0 years; 52.2% male), 87.0% were treated during the hospitalization with IV diuretics, 63.9% with IV vasodilators, and 13.8% with intensified therapies. On average, the duration of IV therapy was 10.6 days. In-hospital cardiac rehabilitation was utilized by 51.7% of the patients for 11.7 days on average. Mean LOS was 23.3 days, while in-hospital mortality and 30-day HF readmission post-discharge were 13.2 and 9.5%, respectively. Hospitalization outcomes remained stable between 2013 and 2017 despite important changes in AHF management such as a decrease in carperitide use (55.9-40.0% in 2017), and increases in use of tolvaptan (from 14.2% in 2013 to 31.3% in 2017) and of cardiac rehabilitation (from 43.2% in 2013 to 56.1% in 2017). Patients with intensified therapies had the longest IV therapy duration (mean 23.8 days vs. 5.5-9.9 days), the highest cardiac rehabilitation services use (60.2 vs. 38.3-57.0%), the longest LOS (mean 36.7 vs. 16.3-22.2 days), and the highest in-hospital mortality (37.4 vs. 3.1-12.4%) compared to the other treatment groups.


Contemporary treatment for AHF hospitalization in Japan comprises a long duration of IV therapy followed by extended use of oral medications and in-hospital cardiac rehabilitation prior to discharge. Patients requiring intensified therapies had much longer LOS and higher in-hospital mortality.

View abstract


Chen L, Ionescu-Ittu R, Romdhani H, Guérin A, Kessler P, Borentain M, Friend K, DeSouza M, Sato N